Getting down to Business: An eCampusOntario Open Textbook Adaptation Pilot
In June 2017, the Ontario Ministry of Advanced Education and Skills Development announced a $1 million dollar Ontario Open Textbooks Initiative to promote the adoption, adaptation, and creation of open textbooks. Through the work of Ontario college and university educator teams, there are over 20 open textbook projects underway that will help to eliminate or significantly lower the cost of course materials for learners.
We know that the adoption and use of open educational resources (OER) decreases barriers to access post-secondary education in our communities. We also know that the use of OER, including open textbooks, empowers educators to adapt materials in ways that suit the needs of their learners and programs. That is why the eCampusOntario Program Managers are experimenting with interested collaborative educators on a sprint method for quickly adapting an existing open textbook or creating valuable supplementary materials for high impact books from our Open Textbook Library.
On the weekend of March 2 – 4, 2018, as a lead in to Open Education Week, a group of seven Ontario college educators from three institutions will come together in Toronto to adapt two first-year level business textbooks. The purpose of this open textbook adaptation will be to align the existing high quality U.S. textbooks with Ontario learning outcomes and Ontario business contexts. We will be using a collaborative sprint method, which means an intense work period of three days to accomplish the design approach and implement the agreed-upon revisions.
The sprint will also include supplemental materials (quiz questions, mini-cases, and assessment strategies) to enhance the value of the open textbooks. The work that we complete will be made available in our Open Textbook Library for any Business educator interested in adopting and using all, or some of our work. All output will be licensed using a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-SA license, which means that any educator (in Ontario, Canada, or internationally) is free to download, adapt, and use the content in an education context.
The textbooks we are adapting are:
- Business Communication for Success, created by the University of Minnesota Libraries’ Publishing Services.
- Fundamentals of Business, created by a group of Business educators at Virginia Tech.
In addition to sharing the output of the open textbooks sprint, we will be documenting and sharing our collaborative sprint method. We feel this may have value for Ontario educators that want to pilot open materials in their courses, but have small windows of time for revision. Several Ontario institutions have created OER development funds, disseminated through their libraries and teaching and learning centres, to support educators to make the switch to open. The more open materials we can create and share together, the more educators and learners can benefit.
If you’re interested in learning more about our open projects, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Article written by Jenni Hayman, Program Manager.